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Your dog and the law

Owning a dog brings a lot of enjoyment but also a great deal of responsibility, including compliance with the law relating to dog ownership.

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)

Read about PSPOs and your dog.


All dogs in public places must wear a collar with a plate or tag, with the owner's contact details inscribed on it.

Failure to do so can result in the dog being picked up as a stray and fines of up £5000.

We recommend you get your dog microchipped as this greatly increases the chances of you being reunited with your dog, should you lose it.

Stray dogs

Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 a dog is considered a stray if it is in public place without its owner or if its on private land without the landowners permission.

Under this act stray dogs can be seized by the council and held for a period of 7 days before they become their property. Owners wishing to claim their dogs must pay a £25 statutory fee and all other costs incurred.

Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

Section 1

Under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act is an offence to own one of four prohibited breeds unless they have been place on the Index of Exempted Dogs.

These are:

  • the Filo Braziliero
  • the Dogo Argentino,
  • and the Pit Bull Type.

Section 3

Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act states that it is an offence for any dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place.

If you wish to report an offence or suspected offence under the Dangerous Dogs Act please contact your local Police Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Dogs and livestock

Dogs must never worry livestock: even letting your dog walk in the same field as livestock may be considered as 'worrying'. A farmer is entitled to kill your dog if it is worrying livestock.


Animal Welfare

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